Monthly Archives: April 2015

Aunty Milly Died

Aunty Milly 001

My (Great) Aunty Milly died a few weeks ago and Mum sent me this card which was given to all the funeral attendees, I’m so glad to have it. I didn’t know her well, but she’s someone I’ve been hearing stories about my whole life, she was famous in my family for her beauty and outgoing personality; everyone seems to have adored her. And even though I barely knew her, I smiled in recognition as soon as I saw these pictures because she looks like my grandmother and Uncle George, who are both now dead. I’ve had a sad ‘end of an era’ kind of feeling – Aunty Milly was my grandmother’s baby sister and the last remaining child of my great-grandmother. I doubt I’ll ever hear another Geordie accent, which was their north eastern England way of speaking and always spelled ‘home’ and ‘family’ to me somehow, even though I’m from London.

There were some cloudy, gloomy days dotted amongst the sunshiney ones this week. When the weather is mild, I sit outside and read as I wait for Boy 2 to come home and this week I read Man at the Helm, a novel by Nina Stibbe. It was hugely entertaining and very funny, and broke a spell of not being able to concentrate on reading for several weeks. Anyway – Man at the Helm. Hilarious in spite of being the tale of a boozy, promiscuous single mum of three who sometimes neglects her three kids as she struggles to raise them in 1970’s rural England. The novel is told from the POV of Lizzie, her middle child. I admit I felt judgmental of the mother for about the first half of the novel, but then I didn’t. It’s hard, having your life turned upside down. Loved this novel and would highly recommend to anyone who wants a good read that happens to be about hardship but is the opposite of doom and gloom. .

Almost Vegetarians

After more than 20 years in Colorado I am still surprised by the weather sometimes. This morning was misty with very poor visibility as I started my drive to work (not in the Tracer – that car was totaled a few weeks ago). I switched on the headlights and then moments later as quickly as if a switch had been flipped the mist disappeared and I was driving through a clear and sunny morning, watched by three does at the side of the road.

A few small things have changed since I last wrote in here. After a brief period away, Boy 1 is now back at home and working the graveyard shift in a distribution warehouse. I hope he won’t find his comfort zone in this place, but right now he likes earning money and having a job he finds easy. I’m afraid he’s letting his old dream of going to film school slip away. Miss W is in her junior year at St. Mary’s Academy and soon to begin driving lessons so that she can get herself to and from school in her senior year. We love everything about SMA apart from the fact that it’s so far away. And, not that it will have any affect whatsoever on the literary world, I stopped writing several months ago. My sales were terrible and I was losing enthusiasm and knew I could not be the Facebooking, Twittering, social media kind of writer that I needed to be in order to generate interest and sales. Maybe someday all the notes on my (beautiful, mostly unused) desk will take shape and become the novel I dream of writing, but for now it’s just my weekly personal journal and the notes and thoughts I scribble to myself. Unfortunately all the drama and complications in my personal life don’t seem to leave any leftover space in my brain.

Miss W announced at the beginning of the year that she wanted to become a vegetarian. This was quite surprising, coming from someone who always hated vegetables, but I just said she would have to help with cooking, come up with ideas etc. etc. My heart fell at the thought of myself preparing meat for myself and the boys, and separate, veggie meals for Miss W. However, it has not turned out that way at all. I’ve eaten 2 or 3 chicken meals since January – to my surprise we are all mostly vegetarian now and don’t miss meat at all. I say ‘mostly’ because I still do eat fish and occasionally chicken, Boy 2 probably eats the normal meaty fare at school, and Boy 1 I’m sure eats fast-food type meat whenever he gets the chance. But it’s becoming routine now to not buy meat and make vegetarian meals at home each day, and seems like a natural move forward from trying to avoid processed foods.

Any minute now, Boy 2 will be home . . . he’s 15 now, covered in spots, still completely obsessed with the strangest things, still very, very sweet. Miss W is busy sewing patches ordered from Etsy onto her favorite jacket. It’s time for me to think about making supper. I think we’ll have burgers tonight – veggie burgers, of course.Ivy in April 001

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20 March 2015 013